Organizations across Minnesota ask lawmakers to support emergency community relief grant program for Minnesotans who fall through the gaps of federal stimulus grants, unemployment insurance, and other relief programs

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May 4, 2020

Dear Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, Majority Leader Gazelka, Minority Leader Kent, Chair Pratt,

Chair Rosen, Speaker Hortman, Minority Leader Daudt, Chair Mahoney, and Chair Carlson,

The undersigned organizations urge your support for SF 4540/HF 4611, a bill introduced by Senator Melisa Franzen and Representative Aisha Gomez to establish an emergency community relief grant program to support Minnesotans who fall through the gaps of federal stimulus grants, unemployment insurance, and other relief programs.

Some individuals, in Minnesota and across the country, do not fit neatly into the categories for relief.

For example, students who are over the age of 17 were not eligible for $500 stimulus grants as dependents or for $1200 stimulus grants as adults. At the other end of the age spectrum, elderly and disabled individuals not receiving Social Security are ineligible for many relief programs. Unemployment insurance benefits do not cover tipped employees at a rate commensurate to their real earnings.

Emergency community relief grants under this bill would be available to Minnesotans who are suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19 and are unable to access other assistance. The grants would be limited to $1500 and would be specifically targeted to pay for food, emergency household items, rent support, utility bills, and other similar expenses. They would be administered through local organizations, associations, foundations, and financial institutions, keeping decision-making local throughout the state.

Our organizations serve the most basic social, economic, physical, and legal needs of vulnerable Minnesotans. We know that people across the state and in all age groups need and will benefit from this targeted relief. This legislation is essential to patch some of the holes in the safety net for the most vulnerable Minnesotans. Please support SF 4540/HF 4611.

Sincerely,

  • African Career, Education & Resources, Inc. (Suburban Hennepin County)
  • African Development Center (statewide)
  • Aury Tovar Consulting & Coaching LLC
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (statewide)
  • CAIR-MN (statewide)
  • Cancer Legal Care (statewide)
  • Casa de Esperanza (statewide)
  • Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm (statewide)
  • Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Centro Tyrone Guzman (Twin Cities)
  • Citizens League (statewide)
  • City of Richfield (Richfield, MN)
  • Coalition of Asian American Leaders (statewide)
  • Community University Health Care Center (Hennepin County)
  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) ((statewide with primary reach in Twin Cities, Austin, and Willmar)
  • Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Accion Latina (statewide)
  • Council on Latino Affairs (statewide)
  • Education Minnesota (statewide)
  • FIRM (Filipinx for Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice Minnesota) (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Frente Accion Latino Minnesota (Hennepin County)
  • Hispanic Outreach of Goodhue County (Goodhue County) Hispanic Solutions Group (Wilmar)
  • Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia (Minneapolis)
  • Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (statewide with offices in St. Paul, Worthington, Austin, and Moorhead)
  • Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM) (Twin Cities metro area)
  • ISAIAH
  • Jewish Community Action (statewide with primary membership in the Twin Cities)
  • Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Minneapolis
  • Jewish Family Service of St. Paul
  • JustUs Health (primarily Twin Cities and Duluth)
  • La Dona Cerveceria (Hennepin County)
  • Latino Chamber of Commerce Minnesota (statewide)
  • LatinoLEAD (statewide)
  • Legal Assistance of Dakota County, Ltd. (Dakota County)
  • LegalCORPS (statewide)
  • LinkingLeaders Partnership (African American Leadership Forum, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, LatinoLEAD, Tiwahe Foundation) (Twin Cities)
  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Crow Wing, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Renville, Sherburne, Stearns, Swift, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Wright, and Yellow Medicine counties)
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law Medical Legal Partnership Program (St. Paul)
  • Minnesota Asset Building Coalition (statewide)
  • Minnesota Budget Project (statewide)
  • Minnesota Catholic Conference (statewide)
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (statewide)
  • Minnesota Immigrant Movement (Minneapolis)
  • National Latino Peace Officer Association
  • Office of Latino Ministry – Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (St. Paul and Minneapolis, Annandale to the north, Red Wing to the south)
  • Portico Healthnet (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Prepare + Prosper (Twin Cities metro area) Proof Alliance (statewide)
  • Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Qué Tal Language Program (Minneapolis)
  • Ramsey County Board (Ramsey County)
  • SEIU Local 26 (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Students United (statewide: Southwest Minnesota State University, Minnesota State University – Mankato, Winona State University, Metropolitan State University, St. Cloud State University, Bemidji State University, Minnesota State University – Moorhead )
  • This is Medicaid Coalition (statewide)
  • Tubman (Twin Cities metro area)
  • Unidos MN (statewide)
  • United at the Table (Worthington/Nobles County)
  • UNITE HERE Local 17
  • Vietnamese Social Services (statewide)
  • Voices for Racial Justice (statewide with strong presence in Twin Cities and Worthington)
  • Wilder Center for Communities (St. Paul)
  • Women’s March Minnesota